Feb 2nd, 2021

7 Signs Your Web Crawler Is Not Ready To Be Deployed Yet

Many coders we know, who use our Rotating Proxy Service, Proxies API. They make the mistake of depending on a web crawler setup the moment they have finished coding the scraper, and they can see data coming through on their machine. We have seen far too many cases to count when we help them solve issues while helping them integrate our services into their machinery.

So here is how we know when the web crawler is a bit raw, and the paint is not fully dry yet:-

1. It gets stuck at a random place every day for no reason.

2. It runs for a while and mysteriously stops returning data after working for a specific length of time or after a particular number of URLs.

3. The database is full of good and suddenly empty data.

4. The web page is fetched, but the scraper doesn’t get all the records and misses a few.

5. The scraper keeps getting gibberish, or sometimes there is HTML in it.

6. The crawler is way too slow.

7. You find yourself constantly debugging and restarting it.

Typically, this is a symptom of a wrong approach rather than having a wrong piece of code or the wrong logic somewhere. A system that is this prone will always be weak and always be prone to a ‘cold.’

If these things are happening, check this article — 5 rules for writing a web scraper that doesn’t break to get to the heart of the problem. Note that this might require some introspection and some overhauling to really ‘fix’ the issue at the root.

The author is the founder of Proxies API, a proxy rotation API service.

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